This Sunday marks the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in, but not everyone is eager to remember it. Reached at home in Miami, Virgilio Gonzalez, one of the five 1972 Watergate burglars, said to an ABC reporter, “No quiero hablar de Watergate [I don't want to talk about Watergate]. It was 40 years ago.”
Virgilio Gonzalez, 86 years old and a Cuban refugee, was arrested June 17, 1972, after he and four other men were charged with breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C.
After former President Jimmy Carter rejected a pardon request from four of the men, they were convicted of second-degree burglary, wiretapping, conspiracy and unlawful possession of intercepting devices. All four men served out their jail time until 1975. The fifth burglar was also convicted with them as one of the accused masterminds of the break-in.
Gonzalez didn’t want to talk about Watergate Thursday, but he seemed amused by the conversation. He would respond in English, but only to questions that were posed in Spanish by a minimally conversant ABC reporter.
Gonzalez said he works as a mechanic in Miami, where he lives with his second wife. Asked in Spanish whether he is happy now, he responded in English, “Of course, I am living again.”